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Songhees First Nation

A community united under one roof

Songhees First Nation

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"We are doing this so our members have opportunities." -- Christina Clarke, Songhees First Nation.

How do you use creative financing to build a community asset? Vancity did so to finance an $18-million construction loan for the Songhees First Nation to create a community gathering place and amalgamate the First Nation government’s administration, education and health services under one roof—The Songhees Wellness Centre. This is an exciting project for the Nation, which previously operated out of temporary mobile offices, and without a main centre for youth, elders or culture.

Vancity developed a new approach to lending to First Nation governments and was able to offer financing by treating the Songhees First Nation as a local government similar to a municipality and securing the loan with projected future lease and tax revenues.

A LEED ‘green building,’ the Songhees Wellness Centre also provides a community centre, sports facility, convention centre and tourist destination for the Greater Victoria community. The centre opened to the community in December 2013.